Isaiah Ekejiuba’s introduction to football came when he answered an ad on a campus bulletin board for prospective players at the University of Virginia.
Ekejiuba said he knew nothing about the game at the time and spent most of his time tackling any player who got in his way until he grasped the nuances of the game.
A few years later, he was signed by the Raiders and carved out a nice career as a core special-teams player who tackled as well as anyone in the league. His Raiders career ended Thursday after five seasons, according to Ekejiuba on his Twitter account.
“Well, Raider Nation, it was fun while it lasted,” Ekejiuba said on his account. “Sure you’ll be hearing soon enough, I just got waived by the team. Thanx for all the support!”
For the second time today, we bring you Raiders-related news that the Raiders deemed unfit for them to announce. The move has not been acknowledged on their website, and Ekejiuba still is listed on their roster.
Ekejiuba’s listed position was linebacker. However, he spent most of his time on the field with the special teams units, where he developed into one of the league’s most effective players in that role.
The Raiders thought enough of Ekejiuba to keep him around for five seasons as a special-teamer. They also gave him a three-year contract last offseason. He earned a base salary of $1.2 million last season and was scheduled to earn $1.45 million this season and $1.5 million in 2011.
It’s possible that the Raiders are confident enough in the abilities of players such as Ricky Brown, Sam Williams, Travis Goethel, Stevie Brown, Jeremy Ware, Tyvon Branch and Jerome Boyd that they deemed Ekejiuba too expensive and, thereby, expendable.